Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of Self-help
Author: BS Murthy

Chapter 18
Science of Devotion Chapter 17

This chapter of 28 slokas, known as sraddhaa traya vibhaaga yoga, Threefold Devotion, deals with the spiritual and temporal aptitudes of man. S11-s13 that deal with the virtuous, the passionate and the deluded in ritualistic sense and s 23 -28 concerning Om, Tat, Sat and Asat of the Vedic hymns are clear interpolations for reasons the reader is familiar with. 
 
However, s7 - s10 that deal with the food habits of the virtuous, the passionate and the deluded would pose a problem in determining whether or not they are interpolations. Can eating habits be linked to the innate nature of man in an infallible manner? Perhaps, some future research and analysis might resolve the universality or otherwise of this averment, and till then, it is appropriate to reserve the judgment on these.


Thus spoke Arjuna:
None the regard for scriptures 
Who tend to manage life their well
What Thou say of such of beings
Virtuous, passionate or merely deluded.

2  
Thus spoke the Lord:
It’s one’s nature that tends him
To be virtuous, passionate, or deluded.

3  
Beings all have faith in some 
It's one's nature that shapes it.

4  
Virtuous seek gods in worship  
Opt passionate to humour ghosts      
Turn all deluded towards the Hades.

5  
Hoping for there all to gain
Indulge vain in austerities
Though not endorsed by scriptures. 

6  
It’s in delusion they all fast
Emaciating frames of theirs, 
Thus in foolishness they all  
Famish Mine own Self in them. 


As with habits so with palates 
Come to tend all in three ways.


Opt virtuous all recipes fine
Sustain health ’n enhance strength.

9  
Hot ’n spicy, and pungent, 
Prefer food passionate that ill-suits.

10  
Food of deluded is all stale 
Long in storage, and impure.  

15  
Rings with truth ’n laced with warmth
It's speech austere that’s well-meaning. 

16 
Simple ’n stoic
Kind and candid
It’s mind austere  
With self-control.

17  
Wanting none
Never in turn,
Done in concern
Deed it’s austere. 

18  
It’s in pretension passionate live
Eye they have on name ’n fame.

19  
With troubled mind all deluded live
Hurt themselves ’n others as well.

20  
Virtuous deed is that extends
Helping hand to one in need
Guided by the zeal to serve.    

21  
Deed passionate is quid pro quo
Ever done with some end in mind.  

22 
Aiding dubious with disdain 
It’s deed deluded that lacks goal.

Ends thus:
Science of Devotion,
The Seventeenth Chapter   
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

 

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